How to deal with being made redundant…

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Being made redundant, whether you’re expecting it or not can be a testing time. It can knock your confidence and be emotionally overwhelming.

While it is never easy, there are things you can do to help ease the process.

Don’t take it personally – while it’s hard not to take it as a personal insult, try to remember that it is business and unfortunately happens to hundreds of thousands of people across the UK each year. Whether it’s due to restructure, closure, relocation or a merger, the decision to make redundancies isn’t one that employers take lightly.

It’s understandable that you’ll have a range of emotions from denial, anger, panic and anxiety. Try to remain professional and look for any positives. Redundancy gives you the chance for a fresh start.

Know your rights – know what you are and aren’t entitled to. There are guidelines that all employers legally need to follow when making redundancies. These vary, but at the very least you should be given written explanation of why you’re being let go and where possible they need to try to find you alternative work within the organisation. The amount of notice you’re required to be given varies from 1 to 12 weeks depending on length of service and the total number of redundancies being made. More detailed information on your rights can be found  on the here

Plan your finances – if you’ve more than 2 years’ service then you’re entitled to redundancy pay. However, the final amount can vary depending on your age, total length of service, company policy and also the reason for redundancy. For example, if your employer has gone into administration they may not have the funds to pay. Calculate your redundancy pay

It’s not just about how much pay you may or may not get. But also, what you do with it. When receiving a lump sum, it’s tempting to hit the shops and spend it all at once. But remember, until you find a new source of income, that money must pay for all your outgoings. Calculate how much you need per week/month to pay the mortgage, bills, for food etc. This should then enable you to work out how long you can afford to live without a job and regular pay days.

Finding a new job – redundancy is good time to reassess your career. Think about your skills, experience and aspirations. Do you want to stay in the same sector or profession? Do you want to retrain and try something new? Or do you want to become your own boss and start out on your own? The options are endless.

If you’ve been lucky enough to have been given outplacement support by your employer, you’ll be able to discuss your options with your career coach. They can help you plan your job hunt and ensure you’ve everything you need for it to be successful.

First point of call is your CV – this is your ticket to interview. Spend time creating a master document that you can then tailor depending on the job/sector in question. Here are a few tips on creating a great CV. Also don’t forgot your digital CV, if you’ve not done so already, create a LinkedIn profile, this will allow recruiters and hiring manager to find. But remember to make sure there is consistency between your profile and your CV. While they don’t have to be the same word-for-word, make sure all dates, job titles, qualifications etc are the same on both.
Check out our careers advice for more hints and tips on how to succeed at interview.

Being made redundant could be the starting point for great things, it might take your career to new heights, or in a totally different direction. Here’s Lucy’s story of life after redundancy.

‘How to deal with being made redundant…’ was written by Mike Burgneay, MD Chiumento Consulting. If you like what you’ve read why not follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter and read all our future careers advice and musings on the world of work.

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